Does this Still Count?
For my History of Cinema final, we have to make a project on Cinematic Influences. The project is pretty open. Project examples maybe, but not limited too: audio commentary for a scene, reconstructions of a notable costume or prop, create a diorama, storyboard a scene, or make a movie poster. We were assigned this project 6 weeks ago, and I couldn't find much inspiration for anything. One idea I did have was to make a 20's style movie poster for my senior film Doll Story. The problem behind that was finding the motivation to draw. So I put off the project until now!
When I was searching for images to match, I was reminded of a project I did in Digital Lighting and Rendering. For the final in that class, we took a shot from a film known for it's cinematography and fully recreated the shot in 3d with a focus in matching the lighting. I began to think about redoing that project and while also using it my History of Cinema class. This is where I find the grey area between personal and class project. Since, I have full reign of what I could have done, I'm deeming this as a personal project.
The more focused search was on! I wanted a scene with a nice camera angle, wide angle shot without any characters, nice lighting! I got some of that. In early cinema, more specifically Early Hollywood, the characters were the focus. They would be center frames and take up a 70% - 80% of the frame. You could say that establishing shots had not been established yet. Eventually, I found several clips of Orson Welles's The Third Man. I remember seeing the film for the first time for a SCAD Cinema Circle showing and remembered several cool scenes. The one in particular, is the one I ended up choosing.
A Do-able Scene
This is a nearly perfect scene! The lighting is casting this great big ominous shadow on the building. As the man turns the corner, it is revealed that he is holding a bunch of balloons. He keeps walking and his shadow is bounced over a building across the street. I think the most challenging part are the statues in the foreground.
Since everything is grey-scale, I do have the option of texturing in grey-scale or texturing in color then converting to grey-scale. I also think that the textures on the buildings and windows are pretty simple. The ground is very wet. I think I can get away with a mask on the specular.
Based off of the clip, I see about 4 lights, and a sky. 1 light pointed at the main building, 1 light pointing on the side building, 1 light on the statues, and 1 light on the interior walkway of the main building.
The character might be the simplest part of the whole scene. I can create a similar character with Adobe Fuse. Then, bring the character into Mixamo and apply a walk cycle. In MotionBuilder, I can repose one of the arms and have that instantly baked into the animation. Finally, I can model some balloons and parent them to the character. Typing it outs complex, but I have a good idea on how to do this.
For the getting the statue models, I will have to find similar models online. I might be able to find photogrammetry scans.
I want to do a little research. The scene is very dark, so if I can find where the scene was shot, this will greatly help with layout and finding focal length.